Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Baked Yeast Donuts

This weekend's experiment was to see if I could make a baked yeast donut that was as tender and tasty as its deep-fried counterpart.  The baked donut recipes I have seen all involve a donut pan and a batter (as opposed to a dough), but I wanted to go for the classic yeast donut.  I do have a donut pan that I have yet to try out (sorry, Tina.  I swear I will get around to it!), but I suspect such pans are not a common kitchen commodity.  The trick was to find the right method that would bake the donut without it developing a crust. The end result was pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.  Not as tender as a deep-fried donut (and, of course, lacking that wonderfully crispy outside), but still very tender and delicious.  Of course, the recipe is not fat-free (I'll leave that to more capable hands) but it certainly is fat reduced without the frying.  The ingredients are the same as the original, but I simplified the method a bit.

Makes at least 12 donuts
- 3/4 cups soy milk
- 3 tbsp warm water
- 1 1/4 oz vegetable shortening
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 11.5 oz all purpose flour

1. Heat soy milk, water, shortening, salt, and sugar in the microwave, or on the stove, stirring regularly until shortening melts. Whisk in flax, then whisk in yeast.  Let sit a few minutes, then whisk again until smooth.
3. Put flour in a large bowl and add soy milk mixture. Mix together into a rough dough, then knead for about 5 mins until smooth, adding more flour or more water as needed.  The dough should be very soft and slightly tacky, but not sticky.  Aim for a moister dough than usual for a more tender final product. 
4. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for about 60 mins, until doubled in size.
5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly mist with oil.
6. Roll out the dough on a lightly oiled surface to about 3/8" thick. Cut out donuts with a donut cutter (see pic above).  Dough scraps (and holes) can be re-rolled and cut. Place on prepared baking sheets (6 per sheet) and cover. Let rise for 1/2 hour, or until just about doubled in size.
7. Preheat oven to 500 degrees with rack in the middle.   Bake donuts one sheet at a time.  Place one sheet on top of another (i.e. you are baking the donuts on two sheets--this will insulate the donuts and keep the bottoms from getting too brown) in the oven and reduce the heat to 425 degrees.  Bake for 5 mins, then gently turn donuts over.  Bake for another 3 minutes.  Donuts should be lightly golden (see below).  Return heat to 500 degrees before baking the second sheet as above (but make sure the second sheet is new/cold).
8.  Let cool, then glaze.


Veganadian said...

Holy geeze!! Pretty close to the ones from Tim Hortons, eh?!

Whatever, fat-free's for hosers. Gotta pack on extra layers for the winter, eh?

Kris said...

Oh, magnificent! I purchased a doughnut pan years ago and have made a couple of truly fantastic recipes in it. It is definitely a lot of fun, and simple, to make doughnuts in the pan but, in the end, they're more or less simply baked goods shaped like doughnuts. I really like this method of yours and I will try to procure one of those doughnut rings. I'll try to satisfy my desire for fried doughnuts by indulging in other fried goods or letting the pros do the dunking. ;) Thanks for sharing this!

Susan said...

Doughnuts are my weakness and I'm anxious to try these.

Shannon said...

I'm so excited about this! I have made a few attempts and baked yeast donuts, but all were unsuccessful.

veganmum said...

These look fantastic. What are the odds, if I asked really nicely, that you'd consider adapting the recipe to mimic a certain Canadian coffee chain's apple fritters? Pretty please with maple glaze on top?

I'm kind of wishing I hadn't run out to buy those donut pans a few months ago...who knew baked donuts could look so great without them?


Bianca said...

OMG, Vegan Dad! These look amazing! I have yet to try making baked vegan donuts. Must do!

zaK said...


Elisabeth said...

I want a dozen of those, please! Right now :-)

LoveMyIsiAki said...

I need these in my life...

Bethany said...

Mmm, those look great! I've been intimidated to try making my own donuts, but these look do-able. Thanks for the recipe! The pics look great, too.

Elizabeth said...

I'm sure my daughter would really appreciate me making these for her being since we don't get to go to the doughnut shop. Thanks for the recipe!

Darcy said...

Yes!!! Sadly, I have gone without yeast donuts because of our newborn. I can't wait to try this out, it seems much easier than frying them. At least I won't have several
greasy dishes to wash. Thank you.

Jenny said...

My nearly 5-year-old and I made these this past weekend and they were a HUGE hit with our family. Thank you so much for posting this!

TheFitChicks said...

Those look delicious! I have to say donuts is one of the things I miss the most since decided to go vegan. I will have to try these and see how I do. I might even try them and put them on my vegan blog

Mike Rawlins said...

This is frickin good donuts.. I love donuts. And since I am one of those students who are in lab coats I like especially those healthy ones that are made from healthy ingredients such as this one. Keep it up...